Letter to Our Future Child

Tomorrow we leave to go on a quick trip to visit your cousins. We are excited to see them and happy that we will be able to watch them play lacrosse and baseball this spring. We can’t wait to take you on trips to see them and play with them as you grow up. When we get to visit family we often think of you and how great it will be to have you with us one day for the trips.

We have been waiting for you to come into our lives for a while now. We hope that you get her soon but also know that you will get here as soon as you can so we can become a family. We can’t wait to love you, care for you, and watch you become your own unique person. We have never met and although you are not biologically related to us we already love you. We love the thought of feeding, cuddling, snuggling, and soothing you as an infant, playing, teaching, and acting goofy with you as you go from toddler to child, and watching you mature through the teen years into the adult you will become.

I often find my mind wondering if you will be a boy or girl or what you will look like: African American/Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian, blonde/brown/red/black hair, blue/green/brown/hazel eyes, tall/short, etc. Will you like sports and want to compete/watch them, will you be really into art and be creative, or will you be super smart and into learning about new things. There are so many unknowns as to who you are or will be and the not knowing makes the wait hard. We do know that we will love you with all our hearts and we will do anything we can to make sure you are taken care of and have everything you need to grow up into who you are.

While it will be one of the happiest days of our life, the day we meet you, we also know that it will be one of the saddest or hardest days of someone else’s life as well. The day we get to take you home and become your parents is also the day that your birth mom will be choosing us to be your parents. We can’t imagine doing something as difficult as she will do that day. Hopefully, having an open relationship/communication will allow for her to grieve when she needs to but also get comfort in still knowing you as you grow up.

We can’t wait to meet you and your birth family. We hope that there will be visits, letters, phone calls, and pictures to share between all of us. For you to get to know them and understand that family can be so different and include all of us because being family just means that you love someone unconditionally. No matter where life takes us or how much contact we have with your birth family we will always love them because without them we wouldn’t have you.

Looking forward to meeting you for the first time!

Article from a Birth Mom to the Adoptive Parents She Didn’t Choose

I saw this article posted on several sites over the last week or so and finally read it. It was AMAZING to read! We have already talked to several potential birth mothers and some have chosen to parent while others have chosen other couples. Neither scenario is easy to deal with, and it makes you wonder when they choose another family what you could have done/said differently to be chosen. You know in your head that you are who you are and there will be some birth family out there that will love us and choose us to be their child’s adoptive parents, but in your heart you just feel like you could have done something different to have a different result.

This article is from a birth mother who placed a child for adoption and had chosen one family over another that she had talked to. It kind of goes into her struggle during the process of deeming one family as the right one to be chosen, while the other family is not chosen.

As a potential adoptive parent you can sometimes forget all the things that the expecting parents/birth families might be going through other than the biggest piece: of deciding to place their child for adoption in the first place. Birth moms could be faced with family that is not supportive of her choice, she could have a hard time finding and selecting the right family because there are so many choices, trying to figure out how to handle the situation with her other children (if she has them), she could be having a difficult pregnancy, and on and on can be things she is dealing with.

As a potential adoptive parent I haven’t had to face the same challenges as a birth mom in making these decisions, just like she hasn’t had to go through what we have gone through on our adoption journey. It is good to keep it in perspective and when we are matched with a birth mother try and help be her support system if she wants/needs it from us.

The article is here if you want to read it.

Group Meeting January 2014

Last week Andy and I were able to attend the group meeting for our adoption agency for the first time in a while. It was great to meet some new people and to discuss some more topics with everyone. The meeting was originally about the birth mothers emotions and experiences leading up to and during the adoption process.
It was great to talk about it from their perspective and to help understand what situations they might be coming from. It touches on some of the myths that people have about adoption and how that might affect the support that they receive from the people around them as they consider the idea of placing for adoption.
After hearing about the different emotions that they might be going through when they are considering or making an adoption plan it makes me realize that we should be thinking about that during contact. We hope to be there to support them through their decision no matter what that is. After having three contacts we have been sad when they didn’t work out but also glad that the birth mother made the right choice for her and her child at that time. Hopefully, we will soon find that birth mother that makes the decision to choose us to place with.
Once we had finished discussing that topic we were all talking about any thoughts or things that we have questions about and we found out that in the group that was there it was about 50/50 on those who have started a baby room and those that haven’t. It was cool to get their reasons on why they have or haven’t started the process of setting up a babies room. As we have posted earlier our baby room is probably 90% complete with us now working on just some decorative touches here and there and continuing to buy more things for the baby when we have the money or see something we like.

Another Birth Mother Contact

So in addition to taking a short vacation over the holiday week and traveling to see family to celebrate Thanksgiving Andy and I also had a busy week talking to a potential birth mother. We were so excited about the contact and it made the week seem like it went by so slow since the Independent Adoption Center was closed for the holiday most of the week and it was hard to get answers at times.

We were really hoping that this time, after all of the time talking to her would lead to a match for us and we would begin the next phase of the adoption and instead of waiting to be picked be waiting for placement. In the end she ended up deciding that she was not going to place for adoption at this time.

While it was hard to hear that another potential match was not going to choose us we just have to believe that if it would have been the right baby and birth mother for us we would have matched. It does seem like every contact we have we get closer and closer to a match so maybe the next time will be the right one for us.

Our first contact with a birth mother was just a single phone call and even after the end of the call Andy and I were not sure we were interested in matching with her even if she chose us. Next we were emailing and talking on the phone with a birth mother that we absolutely thought was the perfect fit for us. After a week of lots of communication though she just stopped talking to us and we found out she decided to match with someone local to where she lived.

Now with this birth mother we had all been talking about the possibility of matching and what that would look like and what we all hoped for in the future. If she hadn’t decided that she was going to parent Andy and I believe that we would have matched in the near future. We hope that she gets the support that she needs in the future to raise her child and we really feel that if she thinks it is for the best that it will be the right decision for her.

Here is to hoping for a happy rest of the year and a great new year where we will hopefully realize our dream of expanding our family!

Birth Mother Contact

Over the last couple of weeks we have been talking with a potential birth mother on the phone and online. Andy and I were really excited about it and thought that she was the perfect birth mother for us. We got news yesterday though that she had chosen another family that is local to where she lives to place with.

It was hard to get that news and hear that she didn’t choose us, but we are happy that she found a family that she has decided to match with. We also knew something had seemed off the last few days as we hadn’t heard from her in almost a week about how things were going for her and we were getting much more contact initially.

We are trying to keep positive that one day soon we will find the right birth mother and be chosen ourselves. After talking with her it is hard to imagine connecting like we did with her to another birth mother but we know that there are other potential birth mothers out there that we will talk to and connect with as well.

On another note though we found out that the agency is running low on our dear birth mother letters that they send out to potential people and we need to send them more. It is great knowing so many people have seen our profile and will possibly choose us out of the hundreds of waiting families with our agency!

Phone calls

So after months of what seems like hundreds of phone calls on our 800 number where there is no one there and it is just dead silence (some spam tele-marketing thing) we get a phone call tonight that neither of us hear as we were in a restaurant. The depressing part is that it actually sounded like there was a person on the other end in the voice mail but no one was talking in the message. While there have also been calls from people looking for another business it is exciting to think that there might be someone trying to get a hold of us again.

Ironically, Andy and I were talking over dinner about how with all the fake or wrong numbers we have gotten neither of us are sure if we would know what to do or say again if we were to be contacted by a birth mother. I guess it is time to pull out our binder and do some reading again to familiarize ourselves with the information we are suppose to mention and potential things we should talk about. The first time we were contacted by a birth mother it had been just 1 week after we had gone live with our page and phone number and we were both a little flustered as to what to say on the phone so we had talked about the kinds of questions we should ask and things to say but apparently my brain has not kept up with that information.

With that first phone call Andy had let me do all the talking as he sat next to me and all I can remember at this point was my heart racing a mile a minute and feeling like I didn’t know what to say because I was so excited and never thought that we would have our first contact so soon. You figure some people do get matched fast with open adoption but after only being on the list for a week I thought that we still had time to prepare what to do when we got a phone call. Now half a year later I still think that if we were to get a call from another potential match my heart would still be racing a mile a minute even if I knew the right things to say and do.

Here’s to hoping we get another phone call from whoever tried to get a hold of us tonight!

Open Adoption Relationships

Andy and I have met some great people through our agency and even got to meet birth parents and adoptive parents that have already been through the match, placement, and the beyond. It seems like the people we have met are the best case scenario and we could only hope for a birth mother like those we have met to be who chooses us in the future.

Since we haven’t had to go through it yet we wonder what the match meeting will be like and if we will have to negotiate what we want/need in forms of contact or if everyone will already be in agreement as to what they want. It can seem kind of scary to invite a stranger into your life for the rest of your and their life but at the same time we hope that our birth mother wants to be somewhat involved with the family and not just want pictures and emails.

We have heard that over time the amount of contact we have from the birth mother will likely become less frequent as their lives go a different direction. While you can understand how as people change as they get older and will hopefully have lives of their own to keep them busy (different jobs, school, marriage, other children, etc.), as the child who was adopted gets older I hope for their sake they have contact with their birth mom still to be able to ask questions about their heritage.

In the one call we had with a potential birth mother the amount of contact she wanted seemed a little scary to us just because she lived so far away and wanted contact on specific dates of the year when typically we aren’t always home but with our respective families instead. If she had been a local birth mom though I think Andy and I would have been happy to have that much contact and would figure out what that would have meant.

Choosing

Choosing to do an open adoption is not something that Andy and I have gone into lightly. Through all the research, meetings, and discussions we have had with people, we know that choosing open adoption isn’t just about expanding our family by one. We know that our family will also grow an extension of our child’s birth family.

Although, this idea can seem daunting at times and seem like it could lead for a crazier life going forward it is also something we should do for the child we are adopting. Their story doesn’t begin when they enter into our family and as they grow up they are going to want to know more information about where they come from if they don’t have access to it already.

Andy and I hope that we can have an open relationship with whoever our birth mom (and dad) ends up being and welcome her (and him) as part of the family as well. We won’t really know how much contact we will have after placement until we meet those specific birth parents and find out what contact they would like to have but we hope to have birth parents that want to be updated and included in the milestones and achievements the child will have.